Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Should children be watching films at school?

From The Times Online:

Should children be watching films at school?: "


Joanne Jacobs asks this question, about School Time TV on her blog. She writes about how children in (American) schools seem to be watching an inordinate amount of videos during school hours and quotes one mother who discovered that her daughter had watched Enchanted in English class and Ratatouille, The Incredibles, Ice Age and Finding Nemo in German class. This mother asked her daughter:

“How many movies do you watch a week?”

She thought a bit, counting up on her fingers and trying to remember. “Oh — I don’t know — five or six, maybe more. We watch TV pretty much every day in at least one class and any time we have a sub they put in movies or something."

It's worth reading the post to see how many people have had similar experiences. And my feeling is that this happens here too, and not just at the end of term. I recently wrote about using Night at the Museum 2 for educational purposes, so I'm not anti "modern" aids in the classroom, but I do think they need to be relevant. I remember watching Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet at school, but that's about it. My daughter has recently watched (and for no apparent educational reason) Oliver and Harry Potter (which I would quite like to have known about in advance, as it's not something I would necessarily have shown her in case she got too scared!), while my son has seen some of Ice Age 2. I've also heard stories of children who watch videos as a regular part of the school day. What happens during wet-play is another moot point.

What do you think? Are films useful in a classroom, or just as an occasional treat? And are they being used as babysitting tools when children should be learning...?

Read School Gate:

Three DVDS in one day. Shouldn't kids do something more useful at the end of term?

Film rentals go up in line with exam texts. Which is your favourite?

Would you send your child to Hogwarts?

How a hit film can make learning come alive


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